Class Action Complaint Filed Against Pennsylvania Vision Insurer

Three parties have been targeted by a federal class action complaint filed by a group of eye care providers and professionals in the industry. Davis Vision, HVHC, and Highmark Health – the parent company of the group – has been accused within the lawsuit of making independent providers choose a Davis Vision lab when ordering glasses, frames, or lenses. The forced bottlenecking is twice as impactful since the insurer is also accused of charging above-market prices to ramp up profits. At the time of the class action’s filing, Davis Vision controls close to 70% of the eye care patient market in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Richard Golomb of Golomb Legalis representing Alan Frank, the lead plaintiff of the class action. Frank’s class action is representative of all sorts of eye care professionals, from opticians to optometrists. He claims that the funneling methods are harmful to patients, who usually end up with a pair of glasses Davis Vision wants to sell out of its laboratory, rather than the pair that would actually improve their vision the most.

The trouble began when Davis Vision implemented a mandatory policy that sent frame orders to its lab. The company made the claim that patients and professionals would both save money by only relying on its own laboratory for lens and frame creation. Frank sees the move as monopolistic, and one that actually increases prices. Large retailers are not restricted by the mandatory laboratory policy, which unbalances the market further by putting more burden on independent eye care providers. One company – Visionworks – that is excused from having to use the Davis Vision lab is actually a corporate affiliate of Highmark Health.

The plaintiff argument states that at least 11 counts of violations have been enacted by the defendants. The class action cites unjust enrichment and unlawful restraint of trade, among others. It is worth noting that Davis Vision decided to settle a case of similar merit a year ago that was filed by another optical laboratory.

For more information about this ongoing story, you can click here to read a full article published by Courthouse News Service. If you believe you can opt into this antitrust class action filed against Davis Vision, be sure to contact Golomb Legaland our Philadelphia class action attorneys. We would also be happy to talk to you during a free consultation about other potential lawsuits or claims that you have in mind.